6 Years Post Breast Implants: Do I Have a Leak?

I have had my implants for 6 years and have gone thru a pregnancy with them. My son is now 2 and about 4 months ago he kicked me really hard in my right breast. Since then, I have been very sore and I feel like my right breast has dropped a little and my rippling in that side seems worse.

I have noticed since my pregnancy that my breasts have dropped and they feel like they are pushing a bit under my armpit. After the kicking I'm just wondering if I am having a slow leak. I just can't tell.

Doctor Answers (12)

Breast Implant Rupture

Your breasts are changing due to the natural effects of pregnancy. Generally, an increase in breast size related to pregnancy then decrease once you stop breastfeeding can cause the breasts to sag, and this may be happening to you. 

What type of implants do you have? If they are saline, then the leak will have caused the implant to rapidly deflate, often within a day or so. If you have silicone implants, then it would be harder to detect (an MRI may be required). Either way, I recommend you see your surgeon for a physical examination.  

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Expanding midline cleavage with breast implants


Saline implant leakage is usually externally visible. Silicone implants may exhibit a silent rupture in which there are no physical signs of rupture.  In your case, it appears that your implants have laterally displaced thus causing you to lose midline cleavage.  Exchange of your implants with capsulotomy may help. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Saline implant leaks are obvious


If you have a leak in a saline implant, eventually all of the saline will leak out of the implant which will then go completely flat. You would then typically have a dramatic decrease in the size of that breast; therefore, the leak will be obvious. It is harder to tell when a silicone implant leaks as essentially all of the silicone stays within the capsule around the implant and there is very little change in the size of the breast. Based on your pictures, you appear to be fairly equal in size so it is very doubtful that you have a leak if you have saline implants.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Evaluation for Implant Leak


Saline implants will deflate and appear smaller if a leak develops.

A leak in a silicone implant won't show a change in breast size. Getting an MRI is the best way to check for a silicone implant leak.

Some of the changes you describe are not uncommon after pregnancy: change in shape, drape, drooping, rippling, position, including excess motion toward the armpits. These changes can be improved with surgery.

Consult with your plastic surgeon to determine your best options.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Implant leak?


If they are saline implants, I don't think you have a leak.  If they are gel and you have a change in the way they look and feel after trauma, I would recommend imaging to assess implant integrity.  MRI is the gold standard.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Leaking Implants?


There are two types of implants saline or silicone gel. Saline implants, if they have a leak they will disappear in a very short period of time and there will be no implant palpable. Silicone gel implants, if they leak, they do not declare themselves with volume loss. In the case of the patient displayed in the photograph, the patient was pregnant. After the pregnancy she did develop some droopiness of her breast that is evident more on the left side and increased rippling may be a sign that she may have a saline implant. The best solution for this type of patient would be to place silicone gel implants and do a mastopexy (breast lift) of both breast at the same time.

S. Ozan Sozer, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast implant leak


It's pretty unlikely that you have a leak, since you should have noticed a significant change in size over a short time (if they're saline). If they are silicone gel implants, a rupture can lead to capsular contracture, which may cause rippling early in the process. With gel implants the only way to check is with an MRI.

Malik Kutty, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Leaking Breast Implants


You failed to mention if yo have saline or silicone implants.  I am assuming that your implants are saline.  If so, I do not think that you have a leak.  I think that the most likely cause of the appearance of your breasts is the effect of pregnancy.  The best way to determine a leak in silicone implants is with an MRI but it is not 100% reliable.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Detecting a leak in a saline breast implant


If your breast implants are six years old you must have a saline breast implant if your implants were placed in the US as the gels were not yet available. A leak in a saline breast implant, even a slow one, will result in dramatic loss of volume over a matter of days. The difference will not be subtle. It is not unusual to have some increase in laxity and ripple of an implant after pregnancy.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How to detect a leak in the implant


If these are saline implants, once a leak develops, more saline will escape and the implant will continue to get smaller. In a silicone implant, the leakage can be really slow and an MRI scan is often necessary to detect a small leak.

From your description it seems unlikely that there is a leak (assuming you have saline implants). It is common to have some atrophy or shrinking of breast tissue and some changes in the position and/or appearance of the implants. If the changes are significant one may need an uplift (mastopexy) and/or bigger implants. I hope this answers your concern.

Anindya Lahiri, MBBS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.